- personal portfolio site of digital designer Rich Dean.

Creative. Design. Technology.

I create beautiful design and engaging experiences to help brands flourish. I’m passionate about doing great work with great people: I’ve worked with big brands and one-man bands, designing websites, brand identity and print work to help them grow.

I run design agency Supersonic Playground.

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Helping a retail giant embrace digital design

Tesco is the UK's largest retailer, with an estimate £1 in every six being being spent there. So how do you help a traditionally offline company to become more immersed in digital?

Tesco Food News homepage in computer display

Tesco Food News

Tesco Food News homepage

In early 2013 news broke that horse meat had been found in the UK food chain, with Tesco amongst the retailers implicated. Tesco CEO Philip Green was quick to respond, and so Zone were commissioned to work on the digital response, which involved strategic content creation and the Food News website.

Tesco Food News products page

With an extremely tight turnaround, I had to combine structural and visual design elements in one phase. The subject matter was obviously of a serious nature, and so the visual language of the site was corporate and minimal, using Tesco’s core palette of red, blue and white as the basis.

Tesco Food News timeline

The site was information-rich, from both an editorial and statistical point of view, and so the clean look & feel combined with small but bold uses of block colour caters for this well. The site was also fully responsive and based around a versatile 1000px grid system, which converts pixels to percentages and is designed to make responsive sites easier to build.

Tesco Food News article page

As part of the broader campaign, the site was extremely successful and won several accolades, as well enabling Tesco to take the lead in an industry-wide scandal.

Tesco Christmas Hub

Tesco Christmas Hub in multiple devices Tesco Christmas Hub main hub page

Christmas is by far the busiest time of year for Tesco. One of the key challenges they face is being able to keep their customers up to date with all the great content and promotions that are on offer, so Zone were commissioned to produce a centralised hub where all this great content could live.

Working with branding supplied by Weiden + Kennedy, I came up with a concept based around an eclectic grid of content designed to engage and excite the user. The grid features a mixture of big and small boxes so that Tesco could give more emphasis to certain items. The contented within the hub was curated from all around Tesco’s various digital channels. Arranged using Isotope, the grid was flexible and made making the site fully responsive easy.

Tesco YouTube Channels

Tesco YouTube Channel in computer display

One of the first pieces of work that Zone undertook for Tesco, the project involved not just the redesign their YouTube channels, but also restructuring the way their video content was organised on the platform.

Tesco YouTube Channel main hub

Tesco already had a broad array of channels and content on the platform, but the way it was managed was inconsistent, and so we concentrated on formalising and centralising this, with a focus on five initial core channels – a main ‘hub’ channel along with Food & Wine, Lifestyle, Technology and Clothing.

Tesco YouTube Channel main navigation

When I started working on the project, we had limited time so I had to combine the structural and visual design phases together, but the underlying principle of the redesign is quite simple and uses a similar structure to a traditional website, with a consistent masthead and navigation across all the channels. Core colours from their palette were used to identify each of the channels.

Tesco YouTube Food & Wine Channel

One of my main aims when designing the channels was to try and create a ‘brand experience’ and keep the user within the Tesco ecosystem for as long as possible, as once users start to traverse content on YouTube it can be quite easy for them to loose the connection with the brand.

The redesign was very successful. In fact Google awarded it a best in class, and it went on to influence YouTube’s subsequent redesign and restructure for brand channels, particularly around areas such as creating consistent brand experiences

About me

I believe that design should be available to everyone. It doesn’t matter what your company’s size, budget or business is: great design will help you tell your story better. Design isn’t just about visual style: it can change how your business works, and how your customers see you.

I run design agency Supersonic Playground, based in Lordswood, near Maidstone in Kent. I have 16 years’ experience in design, most recently as head of design for Zone, voted 2014’s number 1 independent agency in the UK by The Drum magazine. I relish working collaboratively, and put my utmost into every project.

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